Running the Streets of Kuching

I smile each time I reminisce about my running journey. I still have vivid memories of the 1st CMS Health Run at Tunku Putra School back in 2012. I was in pain and had literally collapsed the minute I reached home! There and then, I decided to make health a priority (err, clearly I was in poor shape) and to do that I needed to make time for exercise.

Getting to this stage today, has been very fulfilling for me especially when I ran the CMS Tribal Run 4.0. To see the number of participants grow to >3,000 is crazy! Word had begun to spread fast that the run was SOLD OUT. I mean, who doesn’t want this finisher medal?

CMS Tribal Run 4.0 MedalFor the 1st time, CMS formed a special run team with full on support of our Top Management. We call ourselves the Back2Back (B2B) runners as we were going to run CMS Tribal Run 4.0 and Kuching Marathon 2018 (KM) which were held just a week apart. The deal was simple – each runner had to run a minimum of 10km for both events and raise a minimum of RM300. 14 of us participated – we had reps from CMSB Main Board, HQ Departments and Divisions across the Group. Look at us in our cool limited edition run kit!

CMS B2B RunnersThe B2B runners raised a whopping RM16,000+ (including sponsorship from CMS) from generous donors who did not hesitate to support us in this crowdfunding exercise. Funds raised were donated to Sarawak Society for Parents of Children with Special Needs (PIBAKAT). Apparently, research has shown that people are willing to donate more when they believe a fundraising event will require pain or exertion and psychologists have observed what they call The Martyrdom Effect at work in fundraising situations. This effect shows up whether the pain/effort will be applied to themselves or a friend they are sponsoring. I think it’s true!

Both events are a great way to run the streets of Kuching. CMS Tribal Run, in its colourful costume and splendour, has always been a festival for families and friends to bond and celebrate a run/jog/walk. This is me with my amazing golden girls (2nd from left is my 75 years old eldest aunt) who have joined CMS Tribal Runs 2.0, 3.0 and 4.0.

Denise & her amazing Golden GirlsKM, on the other hand, is for the more serious runners, many of whom vie for a personal best. For me, running KM is very special. It is HOMETOWN run! I get to smell the air, soak in the ambience and I know all its streets. My favourite parts are the heart of the Malay settlement where the neneks cheer squads and little children come out to smile and high-5 me, and Chinatown where I enjoy watching the cafes open at dawn and early risers get together over their kopi and steaming pau.

Kuching is a beautiful city to run – the full marathon route takes you in a loop through all the historic landmarks starting from Padang Merdeka – City Mosque – Malay Heartland – Satok Bridge – Cat Museum followed by the road to Damai – FAC road before veering left towards Bako – then right to Kuching Barrage – Borneo Convention Centre Kuching – SEB/SEDC/LCDA Headquarters – crossing the bridge to Pending – MBKS – Chinatown – Main Bazaar lined with pre-war colonial shops – majestic DUN building and pretty Darul Hana Bridge before finishing back at the Padang.

Like they say, health is the new wealth. Let’s get up and start with a walk – jog – run whichever you like. And let’s savour our beautiful streets of Kuching!